(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A new health equity needs assessment has been launched in El Paso County to provide insight into the health and wellbeing of Southern Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community.

Community Health Partnership (CHP), a nonprofit focused on improving the health of the Pikes Peak region, announced on Wednesday, Feb. 8 the launch of the El Paso County LGBTQ+ Health Equity Needs Assessment.

The assessment, which was developed in collaboration with One Colorado, Inside Out Youth Services, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and CHP’s Community Advisory Council, consists of a 15-minute survey open to adults aged 18+ in the Pikes Peak Region who identify as LGBTQ+.

The confidential survey is available here and will be open through the month of February.

CHP said questions in the survey focus on topics that impact the health of the LGBTQ+ community, including housing, food insecurity, substance use, and mental health. The results will allow CHP and its partners to identify the needs of the community so that resources, supports, and services can be directed to where they can make the most impact.

According to a press release from CHP, studies show LGBTQ+ people are less likely to have access to mental and physical health care that is affirming of their identities. Moreover, LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to experience homelessness, more likely to engage in substance use, and between four and five times more likely to attempt suicide throughout their lifetime.

CHP added that, while this survey has been in development since spring 2022, it comes at a time when support for our LGBTQ+ community is critical due to the Club Q shooting in November 2022.

“The needs assessment will evaluate health needs, health disparities, and barriers to care impacting the LGBTQ+ community,” said Rachel Keener, LGBTQ+ Health Equity Manager, CHP. “Input from the LGBTQ+ community is invaluable in addressing these issues. Findings will inspire a series of recommendations to better support the LGBTQ+ community in El Paso County.”

CHP said the survey is for research purposes only and no identifiable information is being collected, such as name, addresses, phone numbers, IP Address, etc.